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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Anyone who has ever personally applied for a FHA-VA loan or assisted someone who has knows how complicated the VA loan application is and time consuming it is to complete. Pentagon FCU has gone live with an online decisioning solution for VA loans developed in conjunction with Prime Alliance that the CUSO says streamlines the application process and gives members who are veterans online approval for their VA loan applications. Pentagon FCU first purchased Prime Alliance’s turnkey and Web-based interactive mortgage banking business solution when the product just handled conforming and jumbo mortgage loans. “Because of our military membership, we needed a product that also handled VA loans,” said Barry Stricklin, vp of mortgage services for Pentagon, so the $4.1 billion credit union agreed to allow Prime Alliance to leverage PFCU’s lending expertise to develop a VA loan capability for the CUSO’s product. Stricklin said PFCU’s first mortgage portfolio is more than $1 billion and VA loans account for about 30% of that. VA loans are reputed for being time and paper intensive because of the additional information an applicant is required to provide such as their years of service in the military and information about their veterans eligibility. Stricklin said many vendors have Web sites that allow consumers to apply for loans and get approval online, but based on what Fannie Mae told him, Stricklin said “to the best of my knowledge, no other vendors allow veterans to apply and be approved for VA loans online.” The underwriting engine behind the Prime Alliance VA loan solutions product is Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter, and that’s the product feature that facilitates the quick response time to the mortgage application. The applicant’s mortgage application is transmitted directly to Fannie Mae. Once the loan is approved and underwritten, the response is sent back to the member and to Pentagon FCU which in turn completes the processing and closes the loans. Pentagon tested the Prime Alliance VA loan product for two months, and in August it released it to its internal staff to use “to work out the kinks,” said Stricklin. For the time being, members applying for VA loans call the CU’s call center and the staff there uses the product to take the loan. In September, Pentagon FCU will release the product to its membership and they will be able to use it directly via the credit union’s Web site. “Many institutions can take a VA loan over the phone or in person, but to be able to put a VA loan application online is quite an accomplishment,” said Kerry Oldenburg, manager of product development for Prime Alliance. By the end of September, Prime Alliance plans to release the 3.2 version of its mortgage banking business solution that will provide for online disclosure of loans for automatic viewing by a loan applicant. Credit union members will also be able to use the upcoming version of the Prime Alliance product to do status tracking to check on the progress of their loan application. -

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